ST. LOUIS – Suspects targeted a locksmith and a taco cook during separate armed robberies Friday evening in St. Louis.
Police have not disclosed any possible connections between the two, but both happened within an hour of each other. The first one unfolded in north city, and the second one in south city.
Officers responded to the first robbery around 5 p.m. Friday in the 5900 block of Lucille in the Walnut Park West neighborhood.
Investigators say a locksmith, a 32-year-old man, was asked to change a key fob for a Chrysler 300 by eventual suspects. As he finished, the suspects pulled out firearms and demanded his phone. The victim complied.
The suspects eventually went through his car and took off with multiple key fobs and a key fob programmer. One suspect also shot at the victim’s vehicle and damaged a tire. The suspects took off in the Chrysler 300.
Nearly half an hour later, police responded to another armed robbery in the 2800 block of Cherokee Street at Lilly’s Panaderia. The restaurant is located in the Benton Park West neighborhood.
Investigators say an employee was cooking tacos on an outdoor grill and preparing an order for a customer. As she was finishing, one suspect grabbed the order and stated it was his. During that interaction, the suspect pulled out a gun and threatened the employee. He took off with one taco without paying.
Moments later, the employee spotted the suspect in a nearby corner. Officers detained him and recovered a weapon suspected in the armed robbery. Police later determined the weapon was a BB gun, and the suspect was 19 years old.
Officers have not yet announced if charges might stem from either incident. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is handling both investigations.